He was one of those bald guys that comb all their hair over from the side to cover up the baldness. When the sun beat down especially hard, his remaining hairs stuck to his freckled scalp. When he walked along the street he would always get incredulous looks from fans. Young girls would bite their lips in disappointment, while the grey haired men just walked by, pretending not to see.
It had only been a week since he had first seen the growth. One morning, as he peered through the bathroom door, it made its introduction. A fine ‘how do you do.’ The red and bulbous growth could not be popped; its moisture could not be lifted by the most expensive of creams.
His agent and manager were appalled at such a manifestation. The worry of unemployment swarmed into their swollen heads. Dispassion followed suit, as they both had full heads of hair, and a growth had yet to make its home on their skin.
Every morning, with his toes digging into the bathroom mat, he would comb his hair. The ten hairs would gently bridge over the growth, creating the appearance of normalcy. At around noon, the hairs, as akin to small children, would no longer do what had been asked. Stubbornly, the ten hairs would, at first, stick up straight. Then as if they had finally been exhausted from demonstrating, the hairs would feather in every direction across the scalp.
Disgruntled, the man would return home from the gym. Not only was his hair sweaty, it refused to cover the growing pustule.
On one such evening, with his eyes rigorously attached to the television, and his hand sunk deep within the depths of a bowl of popcorn, he felt a warm liquid running down the side of his face. Reaching up to the dampness, his hand followed the trail back to the growth. It had ceased to be a growth, for the skin that once covered the puss had been peeled back.
Standing once again in the bathroom, he plucked off the flap of skin. After stopping the rivulet of puss with tissue, Polysporin, and a Band-aid, he retired to bed. As he pulled back the covers, a sense of relief broached his tired mind. Too tired to ruffle the pages of the magazine resting on the bed side table, he closed his eyes. Sleep came quickly to the man, resolute to walk about freely the next day.
The morning approached with a blistering quickness. Treading to the bathroom, the man felt a pain so great as to cripple a giant. “It must be from those new shoes,” he thought. Sleepily his eyes met with the reflection in the bathroom mirror. His face appeared to be that of another man’s. Small red growths covered his face and neck. In an attempt to spy underneath his shirt, the man peeled back small patches of skin on his fingers. Puss now oozed from his hands, as it had from the single growth on his scalp. Looking down he noticed that the tiles were covered in red puss. Lifting up the pant of his pajamas, he saw that growths had also materialized on his legs, and the tops of his feet.
He could not move, for he feared breaking the skin of more pustules. Stepping away from the mirror, he crouched on the toilet. His eyes roved along his uneven skin. What was a man to do, with an exterior so prone to rupturing? The despondent celebrity sat on his pee speckled toilet for many a minute. He could not determine what had caused such an outburst. Tumultuous stress, steroids, and the enlargement pills he had recently been popping sprang to his mind as the fundamental suspects. Perhaps our dear luminary should have read the fine print on that white little bottle:
When consumed in large doses Enlarge-A-Growth may cause infelicitous skin blemishes, an irreverent lack of hair, and flat feet. Enlarge-A-Growth cannot be held responsible for societal excommunication, or deflated occupational status.
Here we find our man sunk in the roomy waist band of Enlarge-A-Growth. With the pain beginning to irk the man’s skin, there was nothing left for him to do but smear Polysporin on his pulpy surface and limp back to bed.
Throughout the day the boils caroused the skin of the celebrity. They enjoyed the finest of teas. They burst with vigor, only to regroup once more. This lively impropriety occurred at such a rate as to wake the poor man. His flesh burned with the need for something cool. Yet a damp cloth and another layer of Polysporin could not assuage the thirst. Stripped of his pajamas, he lied naked staring up at the popcorn ceiling. He had become resolved to lie there.
The perspicacious reader might have noticed that our celebrity is only celebrity in name. His agent and manager were long gone. They had already slipped into the pocket of an aspiring youth. This small flower had hair that reached his shoulders. The agent and manager often pondered if his locks were too wondrous, but they knew this could always be altered. His complexion was clear and blushing. Some might say he had the looks of a babe, only with endless ringlets of hair.
This is the image that the man had mirrored in the hollows of his mind. Rembrandt could not have painted anything more holy. The rosy vision was soon interrupted, as the sun streaming through the red curtains ruptured the youth’s countenance.
By now hunger had stirred the belly of our celebrity. Never before had anything deterred the man from devouring a meal. Should such great pain be the cork that fills his puckered lips?
Sitting up in bed, he contemplated the trail to the kitchen. Naked, and hobbling as only the finest of celebrities might, he made his way to the double-doored fridge. The pustules on the man’s feet burst as bubble wrap might. They did not pop for the pleasure of children, but stretched a fine grimace on the face of a man. Scrambling for support, he leaned against the countertop. Gingerly he pulled the fridge door open, and extracted a slice of roasted turkey sandwich meat. With one hand he placed the meat on the counter, then he expertly rolled it into a cylinder. While he slid the tube into his mouth, the celebrity’s other hand wandered over the muddled countertop. Absently the fingers grasped the bell shaped cheese grater. Clutching the plastic handle, the man began to rub the grater over the uneven skin on his leg.
At first, a teaspoon of pleasure began to blanket the man’s skin. As the scraping continued the pleasure bloomed, but the celebrity had not yet noticed the blood that gathered at his feet. In his elation, the man continued to rake the grater into his flesh.
The contents of the fridge gripped the eyes of our celebrity; pork ribs, cream pie, and spring roles shouted abuse at the prostrate man. While his foot held the fridge door open, the man’s left index finger dipped into the cream pie. He swirled his tongue lasciviously up and down the puffy sausage that was his finger.
His other hand had not forgotten its undertaking. Blood crowded the creases between his toes, as the cheese grater trekked upwards along the man’s thigh. Slowly, passionately the metallic edges embraced the head of our man’s penis. In the celebrity’s plight, many a fellow might have shrieked in pain before dropping to the floor. Yet, an observing eye would find our man absently stuffing another spicy spring roll into his mouth. The pain must have been dreadful, yet it could not distract the senses of our celebrity.
His hand that grasped the grater rested at the base of the shaft. With one sleepy stroke, the man removed much of the tender flesh. Blood dripped doggedly from the tip to the awaiting kitchen floor. It is not to say that he did not notice the discomfort, he simply was just too famished.
The empty hand plowed once more into the frozen cavern, retrieving the last spring roll. As he shoved the cylindrical feast into his mouth, the cheese grater made its way to the man’s middle. Delicious curls of abdominal flesh gathered in the chamber of the grater. As he scraped, a few nuggets of resilient flesh found its way to the blood soaked floor.
Higher and higher the cheese grater journeyed. It feasted on the flaky crumbs that fell from the man’s mouth, the flaps of skin that had been forced back, and the puss that seeped down the erratic flesh.
In his weariness, the man finally slid to the floor. He sat with his head resting against the kitchen drawer, while the grater lie motionless in his clenched hand. For a moment he closed his eyes. He would no longer be the model for Pepsi, or Cascade. The scars would distract from his glistering teeth; folks would refuse to purchase a thing, let alone Crest. His agent and manager had long ago decided on a replacement. That long haired debutante of a man will have all the handlers grasping for his glittery eyed attention. You see, our celebrity was no competition for youth.